JOY and THANKSGIVING
Reflections on a Service of Ordination and Installation
Joyful occasions l-o-n-g for opportunity to somehow express heartfelt appreciation – thanksgiving that will -- just barely -- touch the surface of awe that was June 9, 2012, and continues to soar in our collective lives!
As I stood in front of about 300 of you (and so many more in spirit) … all participants in my faith journey/graceful engagement/extended trip to ordination … and was presented as a called and ordained minister of the church of Christ, I have to admit, I was not sure what to do! I had dreamed about that moment for years … and when it became a reality, I was stunned, blessed, and at a loss.
Yes, I pointed to God in praise and thanksgiving. Yes, I blew a kiss to my dearest mom in her heavenly home. Yes, I signed THANK YOU to those present many, many times! But it just does not seem enough … words and actions limited to a few minutes there and a written page here – it is just not enough to touch how blessed I felt, how sacred the moment, how much love continues to surround each of us, how good God is – even in the midst of the chaos we call Church.
Friends, God is Good! And I am honored to be a part of the priesthood of all believers that is the ELCA, through Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church. THANK YOU … and I know that is not enough!
On Saturday, a dear friend of mine shared the following with me. I share it with you as a prayer for us … at Bethel … as we step into the places between us, within us and surrounding us. Take it to heart, breathe it in, pray it, and let’s celebrate with joy and thanksgiving the call that is ours in the priesthood of all believers.
For Priesthood by John O’Donohue
in “To Bless the Space Between Us”
May the blessings released through your hands
Cause windows to open in darkened minds.
May the sufferings your calling bringsBe but winter before the spring.
May the companionship of your doubtRestore what your beliefs leave out.
May the secret hungers of your heartHarvest from emptiness its sacred fruit.
May your solitude be a voyageInto the wilderness and wonder of God.
May your words have the prophetic edgeTo enable the heart to hear itself.
May the silence where your calling dwellsFoster your freedom in all you do and feel.
May you find words of divine warmthTo clothe the dying in the language of dawn.
May the slow light of the EucharistBe a sure shelter around your future.
With you, for Christ,
Pastor Brenda L. Froisland